By Jessica Klinner
If you’re anything like me, you’ve lived your entire life believing that you were born in the wrong decade. You’ve dreamed of going back in time to Woodstock, envied those who got to watch Elvis perform live, and longed to witness the iconic years of the British Invasion. Nothing in your lifetime will ever seem to amount to the events of these musical time periods. Thankfully, the music of classic rock bands made a lasting impact on the world. As a result, we are still able to enjoy the music as if we were living during the time of its release.
1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band– The Beatles
When I was in middle school, I started going through a Beatles phase. I wanted their pictures all over my room, their music on my iPod, and their biographies on my bookshelf. Beatlemania was still very much alive in my little world. As it turned out, this wasn’t just a phase. My love for The Beatles has carried on into my young adulthood, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving this band. Sgt. Pepper marked a turn in The Beatles’ musical style, introducing psychedelic and symphonic elements into their sound. The album features songs like “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” Since its release in 1967, the album has sold over 70 million copies worldwide.
2. Some Girls– The Rolling Stones
It would be a shame to talk about albums from iconic rock bands without mentioning Some Girls. Not only is this my favorite Rolling Stones album, but it’s also one of my favorite albums of all time. When it was released in 1978, it became an instant hit and exactly what the band needed to keep their career alive. To this day, Some Girls remains the best selling Stones album. Unlike many iconic rock bands, the Rolling Stones are still releasing music and touring the country, which is great if you’re a young fan who was born in the wrong time period.
3. The Doors– The Doors
Ever since I watched a documentary called When You’re Strange, I have been infatuated with The Doors. If you’ve never seen the film, I highly recommend it whether you’re a huge fan of the band or not. The Doors is the self-titled debut album from this iconic American rock band. I love the psychedelic tone of the album because it sounds exactly how I would expect an album released in the 60’s to sound like. Jim Morrison, tragically a member of the 27 Club, is one of the craziest front men of all time. If you’re ever bored or just curious, simply Google his name and you’ll find countless stories of the crazy things he did on and off stage.
4. Rumors– Fleetwood Mac
You probably saw this one coming, didn’t you? Rumors is the most well-known and loved release by Fleetwood Mac. Personally, my favorite thing about this album is the story behind it. The band was literally in shambles upon entering the studio. To put this into perspective, Fleetwood Mac had more drama during this time than Kim Kardashian has had over the span of her entire life. I’m very thankful for the drama though because without it, we wouldn’t have the beautiful masterpiece that is Rumors.
5. Hotel California– The Eagles
The fifth studio album from this iconic rock band further established the group as the most successful American band of the 1970s. Hotel California became the band’s best-selling studio album, with over 16 million copies sold in the U.S. alone and over 32 million copies worldwide. With songs like “Hotel California,” “New Kid In Town,” and “Life In The Fast Lane,” it’s easy to see why this release has seen such tremendous success.
6. Highway 61 Revisited– Bob Dylan
Released in 1965, Highway 61 Revisited gave birth to Dylan’s arguably most popular hit, “Like A Rolling Stone.” Previously Dylan recorded his albums acoustically, but the sixth studio release from the iconic singer-songwriter featured a full band. This album is a timeless classic containing songs Dylan still frequently plays at shows. It’s the perfect album to enjoy on a quiet, rainy day spent relaxing indoors.
7. Elvis Presley– Elvis Presley
It’s hard to imagine what music would be like without the influence of Elvis Presley. He was the reason musicians like John Lennon, Johnny Cash and countless others began their musically journey. This self-titled album kick started the legendary singer’s career. Featuring classics such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Blue Moon,” and “Tutti Frutti,” Elvis Presley spent 10 weeks at #1 on the charts, making it the first rock and roll album to sustain that position.
8. London Calling– The Clash
London Calling is the third studio album from English punk rock band The Clash. The album art paid homage to Elvis Presley’s self-titled album. It marked a change in the band’s sound, experimenting with ska, reggae and funk. The Clash held nothing back in creating this album, including clearly voicing their opinions on political issues and social stigmas of the time. Since its release in 1979, the album has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
9. Are You Experienced– The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Only a year after forming, The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their debut album Are You Experienced and immediately found international success. The contained some of the band’s most popular songs including “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “Foxy Lady.” The album introduced Hendrix’s psychedelic, faded style of guitar playing. Even after his death, Hendrix continues to inspire aspiring musicians everywhere.
10. Rocket to Russia– The Ramones
Last but not least, I must mention the punk rock classic by The Ramones known as Rocket To Russia. I’ve always thought of the Ramones as the punk version of The Beach Boys because many of their songs could be described as edgy surf rock. A close friend of mine first introduced me to the band a few years ago, and since then I haven’t been able to stop listening to their music. This album gets to the roots of punk rock and makes us appreciate how far the genre has come today because of the Ramones.
[Edited by Silvia Giagnoni - 11/16/13]